Last week I pulled off something I’m quite proud of. It was a week long program called The Big Picture Summit that hosted 13 guest speakers sharing tools, tips and experience to help actors create not just a career, but a life on their own terms.
If you participated (as a listener, as a speaker, or a mix of both) THANK YOU!
In my humble (and biased) opinion, the week was a huge success.
But I’m not writing this blog post to tell you how UH-MAZING I am or how perfectly things unfolded. Because that is the exact opposite of how this week came together.
In this world of carefully curated social media posts of shiny smiling teeth, perfect hair, and the ability to constantly promote how PERFECT life is, a couple of things start happening.
You get annoyed with your friends and their stupid perfect lives.
You become frustrated and disheartened when you compare your wholly un-perfect life to their online life.
You become down on yourself and depressed.
You start to feel like something is WRONG with you because you are struggling.
You too jump on the “look at my perfect life” social media train, knowing full well that you are bullshitting.
That perpetuates the feelings of disconnection, isolation, emptiness and dissatisfaction. The cure for which cannot be found on facebook, instagram or twitter.
Let me pull back the curtain on how non-perfect and not amazing The Big Picture Summit went down.
It almost didn’t happen
My original plan was to put the summit together in August. Summer is a slow time for my business and it seemed like a great project to work on. Laziness got the best of me and I just could not get motivated to put a summit together. Summer quickly turned into fall and by the first week of September I knew that I either had to get my shit together or give up the idea.
Luckily I decided to put some structure and accountability in place for myself. I started hosting study halls at my house. Two days a week from 10am to 2pm I had two friends come over who also needed accountability. We’d share our specific action steps we needed to take, set a timer, and work full out until the time went off. Then we’d report our progress, take a quick break, rinse and repeat.
It was all thanks to study hall that I finally put myself on the hook to get the summit together! (The week would not have happened without Jessica and Josh)!
I spent my family vacation working
Once I decided to commit to the summit, it was game on! A lot of moving parts and coordination go into something like this. Even though I knew I had family coming to visit, I stuck with my plan to move the summit forward. It meant spending a good deal of my vacation working at the computer.
My family loved it! Who doesn’t love flying across the country to spend time with someone who has to work the whole time?
Is that, like, not what family vacation is for?!?
The conference line I use stopped working the way I had anticipated. I still can’t figure out what I was doing wrong, but there were several technology-related hurdles that threatened to derail the summit all week long.
Luckily I was able to overcome them (and very few people, if any people, were the wiser).
My computer died
Yup. My trusty old laptop that is only…my whole entire life…crapped out before the summit even started. I didn’t have time to take my computer in before vacation, so I made my mom bring hers (hence the working family trip).
The summit was made possible by the generous lending of computers by several people, thankfully.
In fact, I’m writing this blog from one such computer as we speak. As of this moment, my computer is in the shop. After 4 days with no word from the repair place, I’m sure that means it’s an easy and very inexpensive fix. Because my life is so perfect and uh-mayyyy-zinggggggg!
I was in tears
After the conference line broke, I had to say goodbye to my family who I didn’t get to spend as much time with as I wanted, and the repair place told me I might have to buy a whole new computer, I kinda lost it. After spinning all the plates and holding it all together, I just hit the wall and had a melt down. A mini-meltdown, but a meltdown nonetheless.
I’m sure you can relate.
The Summit Still Happened
Despite all the obstacles, I still put on a pretty great summit that I consider a huge success. Not just because it happened, but because it was designed to help, educate and empower artists all over the world. And that is exactly what it did.
Obstacles are part of the deal. I used to think that the sign of being “on the right path” meant the universe lined up and everything would fall into place effortlessly. That does happen sometimes, but it’s the exception. Achieving a goal still takes hard work, no matter how aligned with your purpose that goal may be. Nothing can take the place of doing the work. An obstacle is not a stop sign. It is simply an opportunity to get more creative than you originally planned.
It’s ok to have a melt down, but keep going. Wipe those tears away and get back to taking action as quickly as possible.
Structure, support and accountability are real. They make an enormous amount of difference. Thanks to my study hall group, I was able to finally get the ball rolling. In fact, this powerful need is what inspired me to create the Build Your Own Buzz Program.
Now that the summit is over, I’m moving into my fall class series. Build Your Own Buzz is not just a comprehensive actor-marketing training (though it certainly is that), but it’s a community of like-minded artists who help and support each other.
BYOB is a lifetime access program. Once you’re in the family, you’re IN. And you can take the program as many times as you like. But don’t let me get too far ahead of myself.
Before you even need to find out if this program is right for you, get the FREE video series. For the next two weeks I’ll be releasing a series of free videos with simple, powerful, easy to implement marketing tools that you can start using right away.
All you need to do to grab them is register here.
You’ll see exactly the kind of stuff you’ll learn in the paid program, but these tools are yours to use, completely free until 10/31.
If you missed The Big Picture Summit, this is a great next step to taking your acting success into your own hands (plus it’s free, so, nothing to lose).
The first video is here! Want to learn how to market yourself when you have nothing to say? Get instant access on this page.